Will The DC Streaming Service Be Worth Its Cost?

DC is launching a streaming service in 2018.
DC is launching a streaming service in 2018. DC

With the Disney streaming service announcement yesterday and the future of Marvel and Star Wars Netflix distribution unclear, many comic book fans are turning their attention toward DC’s upcoming digital service set to launch sometime in 2018. The conversation is even more relevant considering Young Justice, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited left Netflix last week.

In their announcement, DC called it a “groundbreaking digital service” and “an immersive experience designed just for DC fans.” But what does this mean?

We only know two things for sure: Young Justice: Outsiders and a live action Teen Titans series are set to premiere on the brand new service. No release date has been set for either. However, these two shows aren’t enough to get fans to pay for yet another streaming service on top of whatever they already have. We’ve got a lot of questions, the first being, what content is DC going to put on this service? Let’s break it down.

Young Justice and Teen Titans are an exceptional way to start. People will subscribe. But what happens after the seasons are finished? The key to a successful streaming service is original content. Netflix knows this. Amazon knows this. Hulu knows this. In order to stand out, DC is going to need a flow of original content strictly for this new service. A Constantine revival? Maybe a show about one of the most underrated heroes in the DC Universe, Booster Gold?

Another question regarding new content is the release format. Will it treat original series like a network does, dropping an episode every week? Or an on demand service like Netflix where everything is released at once? Or, possibly even a combination of both? Another big question is whether the service will host recent DCEU films around the same time they become available on DVD. Instead of releasing animated films like Batman: The Killing Joke and Justice League Dark straight to home release, they could premiere them on the service.

The CW has its own on demand app. While it’s nice that you don’t have to have a cable subscription to watch, the interface and the ads are a turn off. What if this new DC hub had DCTV shows on demand? Even better, what if you could live stream the series as they are on the CW? Cable isn’t for everyone, and The CW isn’t even available everywhere anyway. Cable-cutting subscription services, such as Sling TV, only offer CW in select areas. The Flash and Arrow are two of the most torrented shows each year. A live streaming option could alleviate that issue.

What to do with ongoing content might be the most complicated issue for this service. DC also has upcoming programing, such as Krypton on SyFy and Watchmen on HBO. Will this new service disregard all ongoing content with existing contracts on networks? Probably not, networks make money, but it’s an interesting concept to ponder.

If this new service contains old content, how far back are we talking? Batman ‘66? Will they take the CBS All Access approach and literally make every single show or piece of content available? If all of DC’s live action and animated library would be available, supplemented by original content, that would keep fans happy for a long, long time. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, the first Flash series with John Wesley Shipp, Smallville, and heck even the not so good ones could find a home. Hopefully old seasons of Lucifer, Preacher, Gotham and The CW’s shows could also appear, presumably once DC’s distribution deal with Netflix is over.

The list of DC animated series is even longer and more exciting. Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Teen Titans, Super Friends, Batman: The Brave and the Bold , Static Shock, Batman Beyond. DC hosts a lot of content on CW Seed, the network’s free service, and it wouldn't be surprising to move Vixen to this new service. Seed also distributes animated movies like the Flashpoint Paradox, Justice League: War and Justice League: Doom, which would hopefully move to the new service in addition to the animated and live action film library.

“Immersive” and “groundbreaking” are an interesting choice of words. It implies this service will include something we’ve never seen before. What if that means it will include digital DC titles, kind of like Marvel Unlimited, but tied into a streaming service? There are loads of DC fans who would gladly fork up a fee to read digital comics and there’s no real way to read the newer titles without buying them individually.

Another interesting element could be a news channel or DC talk show. Sort of like an extended version of DC All Access. This may fall under the original content section, but it would definitely be a unique and immersive idea to keep fans up-to-date on everything happening in the film, TV and comics world. There are so many movie and TV fans but now is the time to attract that audience to the comics. If DC can do that, they could really expand their reach and capitalize on his new superhero trend.

The last aspect to consider is the price point and international availability, and that largely depends on what will be included in this new service. If it’s just a streaming service like Netflix, 6.99-8.99 is probably as much as DC could get away with. However, if there is more of an interactive element which includes digital comics and recent live action films, such as Wonder Woman, they might get away with charging a lot more--maybe even up to $15 or $20. Different plans could also be a smart option to consider. A base plan, just streaming, for less. And premier plan with digital comics and news for more.

How much would you pay for a DC streaming service and what do you want included? Let us know in the comments below!

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